Parenting is hard -Dammit!

The top 10 parenting tips I’ve learned so far.

I’m well out of the diapers. With an almost 15 year old, 13 year old and a 9 year old you would think it would all be easier by now. In many cases it is, I had imagined that at this point it would be smooth sailing. But it’s not, it’s just different.

When you have babies and toddlers, you need to be in great physical shape to handle the long days of noise, tantrums, questions, feedings, the need to stimulate, distract, sooth, snuggle, teach, nurse, make play dates, reprimand and toilet train! It’s exhausting. And to be honest even though we lived 800 km from family and my husband travelled a lot, I rocked at it. Finding the time to even iron, mow the lawn, paint the house, bake cookies and reupholster a sofa! It’s why I am convinced biologically our bodies are made to have babies young because I know I could never do all of that now on 2.5 hours of sleep. Stamina in phase one of parenting is what helped make me an awesome parent.

The next stage however is all brains and little body, the only difference outsiders will notice though is how you look less cute in your jeans. Muscle tone gone from the required pick up and chasing, phase two finds your babies don’t want you to touch them very much at all, let alone pick them up! You need to stand your ground, make tough calls, have thoughtful conversations and not become frustrated and angry when faced with insults or laziness. You worry about their friends, their grades, their futures, the Internet, drugs and where they once shared every detail, burp, emotion and bowel movement now you have to play detective. Asking the wrong question or too many can make them clam up and send them storming to their bedrooms.

Here are the top 10 parenting tips I can proudly pass on so far:

1. Plan on having zero restful nights until your child is at least 4 years old. You have my permission to doubt those who claim their babies slept through the night starting at 3 months.
2. Always be (age appropriate) honest with your child (babies don’t come out of a magician’s black hat – but thanks mom).
3. Never sit on the toilet seat without inspecting it first.
4. Bring snacks, entertainment and baby wipes long after they are out of diapers, everywhere you go.
5. Fresh air will always tire them out, no matter what the age.
6. Have the birds and the bees talk when your gut tells you … and keep having it. They will have more question later, make sure they know it’s not wrong to talk about this stuff.
7. Teach them about healthy eating, don’t give in when most of dinner ends up in the trash. They will get it and make good choices on their own eventually.
8. Homework is hard on both them and you – but remember you are your child’s cheerleader.
9. Try not to cave from your morals, values and house rules; remember the person you want your child to become.
10. When I was pregnant with child #2, I had a client tell me, “The older the child, the bigger their problems.” So true. Secretly laugh at the fact that your pre-schooler cut Susie’s bangs with the scissors he found in the craft drawer. Hair grows back, it’s not the end of the world. You will be wishing for those simple problems in a few years!

By Julie Cadieux published on:

The Hudson St-Lazare Gazette – Oct 3 2012

The Chelsea Foundation – Oct 4 2012 – Oct 4 2012


20 thoughts on “Parenting is hard -Dammit!

  1. Erm…My baby has slept through the night since she was 3 months old. I don’t think that was due to anything we did or didn’t do. It was just the luck of the draw.

    • LOL Tabea! I believe you -it does happen and good for you! I also have a good friend who had no sleeping issues with either of her kids -amazing.

      But for most parents I know, it seems just when you think you’re baby is in a great routine -it all changes. They begin to teeth and they are miserable or they get sick and wake up 8 times during the night. Oh and when potty training begins, they will wet the bed, and then of course there are the nightmares, the ‘I’m thirsty’ and the “I heard a scary noise” or the bad thunderstorm that makes them come running to wake you. I’m not saying I never had a good night sleep but for me personally it seemed like only around the time my kids started Kindergarten -did they become better sleepers: able get up and get a drink, grab a tissue for a runny nose, go to the bathroom or wake up from a bad dream and fall back to sleep, all on their own. Which is when I actually began to sleep soundly and uninterrupted for days and then weeks at a time. It was life changing! LOL!
      How old is your baby?
      All the best -and thanks for commenting!

  2. Reblogged this on StitchinGirlMary's Blog and commented:
    Julie read my ‘back to work’ blog and shared her own. I love when I find someone who has a similar view on parenting to my own. Think the mothers out there will really relate to what she has to say (especially about the toilet seat!)

  3. Words of comfort these days… My 8 yr old ( going on 16) has been a challenge but seems to have turned a small corner.
    I sometimes struggle with my babies growing, but try to focus on the human beings they will become.
    Keep up the great work Julie :)

  4. Thanks for your comment today. At your suggestion, I stopped by your blog for a visit. My kids are 16, 13 (14 Saturday), and 10. So we are in the same boat. My husband and I were both only children – there are days I understand why! Ha ha! One thing I’ve learned is that many times their action is not as important as my REACTION. ;)

  5. Yes- parenting is the hardest and most important job of most people’s lifetime, with the longest lasting consequences. IT’s HARD TO GET IT RIGHT!!! It’s too big to fail.

    YES big kids, big problems. Sounds like you’re working the program :-)
    Do you have family meetings? See my free tip sheet at on this powerful forum that will help mold your kids into everything you envision for them to become.

  6. Great list, for sure. We’ve just survived one of our first nights without any toddlers joining us in bed. As much as many parents said, “Aww…just let ’em, those years go by so fast!”….after many nights of no sleep and getting kicked in the face, we decided to embrace these years during the day….not at 1am. :)

    • Hehe -good for you! Yes, it does go by fast -but a restful night for everyone is also important! Besides, some days it seems no matter what decision you make, you are destined to feel guilty about it! I remember going through this also and was torn by what others said:

      ‘Let them stay in bed and they don’t develop a healthy way to soothe themselves/Kick them out of your bed and they may feel scared or un-loved’

      Oh-boy! Nothing about raising kids is easy!

  7. Loved it. With a college freshman to 1st grader, I can relate. Just recently my husband asked me if I wanted another child. The 3rd (we’ll say he’s actually 3 kids in 1) weighed 10.3 ounces at birth. His strong willed character has been just as heavy to carry these last 6 years. Looking ahead to all of my boys scholastic to sporting undertakings, not to mention college tuition, I could not imagine going for it one more time! Love them dearly but that energy I had starting at 21 is long gone…along with my waist. Thank you for sharing! Just learning how to blog – remind me to read more down the line! Kathleen
    PS – I told my husband > NO

  8. So true! And with every milestone conquered another set of parenting rules we must learn appear. It is a never ending journey that is made easier with friends like you.

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